#1
to grab barre chords, to grab the low E when you need it, for comfort, just generally, who else does this technique?


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#2
the beatles do that sometimes...
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#4
I keep my thumb in the middle of the fret bored at all times, I find it more comfortable
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#5
John Frusciante does it all the time.
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#6
I do it sometimes, but my guitar teacher told me not to and would always stop me when I did it. Habits are hard to break tho.
#8
I don't do it naturally, but my thumb's always pretty close, so i'll scoot it up for certain chords.
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#9
jimi, frusciante, and john mayer.

i do it occasionally, depending on what kind of stuff i'm playing. it's not the "rigtht" way to play, but there are some quite amazing guitarists that do.
#10
Yeah, apparently it's a bad habit. And I do it. But sometimes it works best if I'm doing some weird jazzy chord and want to throw in a bass note on the low E or something.
#11
i know some bob dylan songs that you have to play some chords with your thumb on the E.

some chords would just be way to hard to switch to if you didnt.
#12
i do when i play fast in middle of fretboard. i like to keep my thumb down though.
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#13
I do it. It makes some stuff way easier to play
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#14
the young brothers do it on highway to hell, im sure jimmy page has done it
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#15
I do it sometimes, it makes sense to do it that way... don't know why it's considered a 'bad' habit. It leaves me with a free pinky... which means I can add embelishments(sp?).... since I use my ring finger to bar two strings... so if anything it's better!
I never have difficulty 'performing' it right away with whistles, hums, 'grunts' and percussion.
#17
Is it considered wrong technique? I mean I see steve vai, joe satriani, and kirk hammett do it. They all have bad technique then?
#18
I use it for the low e on some parts of dani california by RHCP and some other random chords but thats it
#19
I don't play full barre chords like that, but if I'm string skipping to some funky stuff then I put the thumb there to save my whole hand position moving, so I can play faster and more syncopated.
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#20
Ritchie Havens ONLY used his thumb. Tuned to an open D chord or something and ran it up and down the board. I cover 5th and 6th strings on Gm (?) that way. anyway its 3|3|0|3|3|3 and I can't figure out any other sensible way to play it.
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#21
did it first time when i started to play pearl jam's yellow leadbetter
#22
Quote by Ganphra
I do it sometimes, it makes sense to do it that way... don't know why it's considered a 'bad' habit. It leaves me with a free pinky... which means I can add embelishments(sp?).... since I use my ring finger to bar two strings... so if anything it's better!


One of the reasons it's considered a bad habit, is because having your thumb fixed on a certain point adds tension (Think anchoring) So if you're keeping your thumb to play the bass note, then your other fingers for the other notes for form the barre chord and your pink for embelishments like you said, using your pinky will cause some tension.

Using your thumb to grab the bass notes also limits where your fingers can go. It's considered to be better to keep your thumb in the middle of your neck so you can stretch your fingers better.

Also from what I've read it causes Carpal Tunnel.

Is it considered wrong technique? I mean I see steve vai, joe satriani, and kirk hammett do it. They all have bad technique then?


Just because famous people do it, doesn't mean it's right. I've seen Satriani anchor, and Steve Vai do wrong techniques, and I don't really consider Kirk Hammett that good, just me though. You can't use famous guitarists to back up a statement of why a technique considered wrong is right.

Now then:

Even if it is wrong technique, it can help you make more complex rhythms or add certain flavors to your music. For me though, I wouldn't use it on every barre chord I did, I'd learn both ways and only use it when needed.
#23
It's not bad technique or good technique. It should be definately be used sometimes when you have big hands and can learn to comfortably reach chords that can't played otherwise.
#24
Quote by FallsDownStairs
One of the reasons it's considered a bad habit, is because having your thumb fixed on a certain point adds tension (Think anchoring) So if you're keeping your thumb to play the bass note, then your other fingers for the other notes for form the barre chord and your pink for embelishments like you said, using your pinky will cause some tension.

Using your thumb to grab the bass notes also limits where your fingers can go. It's considered to be better to keep your thumb in the middle of your neck so you can stretch your fingers better.

Also from what I've read it causes Carpal Tunnel.

it wouldnt add any more tension than using regular barre chords. in fact, i know from experience it uses less. it really doesnt take much tension at all to press down the E string with my thumb. and the pinky causes hardly any tension at all. when ever i use it in this type of situation it always feels loose.

i think most guitar players that use this technique also know when to not do it as well. there are some chords you just cannt play without your thumb behind the neck. on the flip side, there are actually some chords you couldnt play so easily or at all without the thumb.

and it wouldnt cause carpel tunnel more than playing with the thmb behind the neck. it depends on how high or low you play your guitar. if i play my guitar really high, using the thumb would put my wrist in a bent position. if i were to play low, using my thumb behind the neck would do the same. but if you have it at a position thats just right, you should be fine.
#25
Quote by FallsDownStairs
Also from what I've read it causes Carpal Tunnel.


So does fretting 9ths. Should we abandon that too?

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-5-
-3-
-1-


That is pure carpal tunnel right there.
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#26
Okay I stand corrected. Did you guys not noticed that I stated "What I read up on"? Obviously I read up on the wrong things. So my apologies for stating something I read up on.
#27
I do it because my instructor always told me there was no wrong way to play and to do what was more comofortable and suited me better. I move my thumb behind the neck for bar chords and bends though.
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#28
It isn't a bad habit, because you can play some chords with certain voicings, that, without using the thumb, would be very uncomfortable and sometimes, impossible to play.
John Mayer songs is a great example of using the thumb to fret notes for otherwise, impossible chords.
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#29
I've seen Jeff Beck do it once
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#30
You don't even need big hands to do it, but you might have to work at it a bit at first. Thom Yorke (Radiohead), for example, uses his thumb to fret quite often. The thumb is extremely useful for muting the bottom E string (think chords, for the most part), and fretting to play chords that would be impossible, or uncomfortable, to play otherwise.
#31
95% of the time my thumb remains behind the neck. The only time is comes out is to mute unwanted strings when playing open chords(like the low E and A strings when playing a D chord). When i'm playing lead or anything else, the thumb stays behind the neck.
#32
Quote by Lurcher
Ritchie Havens ONLY used his thumb. Tuned to an open D chord or something and ran it up and down the board. I cover 5th and 6th strings on Gm (?) that way. anyway its 3|3|0|3|3|3 and I can't figure out any other sensible way to play it.


I was just about to say richie havens myself